Had to rush home last Saturday at lunchtime and there was not a lot in the house.  We cobbled this together and it was gorgeous!  We thought it had quite a lot of umami – the sort of meaty, satisfying deliciousness chefs and food writers go on about.

If you have a problem with raw onions, try cutting up the onions before you do anything else.  Soak them in the lemon juice for 10 minutes – it “cooks” the onions and takes the heat right out.  I don’t know how it works, but it does.

For 4

1 dsp of sundried tomato paste, dairy free red pesto or paste from my Indian spiced butternut squash recipe on this blog (ingredients below)
2 tins (about 850g) rinsed, drained, cooked chickpeas
2 tbs lemon juice
3-4 spring onions, finely sliced (or ¼ of a large red onion, thinly sliced or chopped)
Small bunch parsley, chopped (tip: rinse, dry and chop parsley and keep in the freezer for instant use)
1 heaped tbs black olives – pitted or unpitted, whatever you prefer
3 sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 5-10 mins, drained and chopped (Or use semi sundried, which don’t need to be soaked at all)
Black pepper
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
A handful of leftover bite size pieces of baked or steamed sweet potato, squash, potato, pumpkin, quinoa or millet you might have hanging around the fridge

The Indian spiced butternut squash rub from the recipe on this blog is made by mixing:
1 level tsp turmeric
1 rounded tsp ground cumin
Rounded tsp ground coriander
Half level tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt
2 tbs (140g tin) tomato puree
1 tbs virgin olive oil

  1. In a large bowl mix up the paste or sundried tomato pesto with the lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley and a few good grinds of black pepper.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to coat.   Serve at room temperature.

Serve with a large green salad or as a side dish to roast meat/white fish with a green vegetable.

Use a small bunch of roughly chopped coriander instead of parsley, or 1 teaspoonful of chopped fresh rosemary leaves.

Why this is good for you:
Herbs and spices are fantastic for your health.  They help clear your skin and slow the ageing process.  They are also anti-inflammatory, good news for calming your digestive system.  Chickpeas and onions are a great source of soluble fibre which provides nourishment for the friendly bacteria in your gut.  If you are new to eating beans and pulses, start with small amounts and build up.  Friendly bacteria are important for all aspects of wellness, from weight management, to good skin, healthy digestion and strong immunity to prevent infections and colds.  Chickpeas are rich in protein (at around 8%) so they can take the place of meat or fish at a meal.  If 25% of every meal is protein, you will stay fuller longer and be less prey to cravings.  Chickpeas contain magnesium too, which aids relaxation.